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Old 08-09-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Is 8 gallon kettle Enough?/ Average Size of all Grain Brews?

Im making the switch to all grain..I have built myself a mash tun from a Cooler and some brass fittings from home depot. All I need now is a good quality Boil Kettle. Im Considering a Polarware 7.5 gallon Kettle that comes equipped with a Ball valve and a Thermometer from amazon for about 120 bucks.

Ive considered Buying a keg from my local liquor store of something cheap and keeping the keg (for the price of the 30 dollar deposit) and converting that to a keggle (in the event that I want to do 10 gallon brews in the relatively near future)

Basically I need some advice from experienced all grain brewers about which way to go with my soon to be kettle. Being that you guys know the average amount of grain and water that will be needed, which would be the best way to go?

I dont want to buy a kettle only to buy another in 6 months because I bought one which was too small...every piece of advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in Advance

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatball358 View Post
Ive considered Buying a keg from my local liquor store of something cheap and keeping the keg (for the price of the 30 dollar deposit) and converting that to a keggle (in the event that I want to do 10 gallon brews in the relatively near future)
Warning: People on this forum are going to FLAME the hell out of you for this one...

But to answer your question, I do my all-grain batches with an 8 gallon pot. I put 6.5 into the pot and boil down to about 5.5 gallons going into my fermenter.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:17 AM   #3
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I have two kettles, a 10g and an 8g. I typically collect 7.5g and do a 90m boil to get 5.5g into the fermenter. The 8g is a little small. I generally add the last gallon to it over the course of the first hour. 10g is much more flexible, but 8 works.

As for the keggle, keeping a full size keg for a $30 deposit is ripping off the brewery. There's a reason you can't buy an empty keg for $30. In most states, the retailer is limited by law to a deposit which is substantially smaller than the cash value of the keg. Some breweries will sell you their used kegs for a fair price.
http://www.portfolio.com/views/columns/first-draft/2007/09/28/Keg-Theft-Pushes-Deposits-Up/

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:37 AM   #4
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8g is plenty big to make a 5g batch of beer.

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
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I switched to all grain a few months ago and I'm very glad I went with a 10 gallon pot. The size of your pot will also determine how much water you can use for mashing and sparging, which will in turn effect your efficiency and the max size of your grain bill.

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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My kettle is 7.5gal. It works fine for me. If anything I might end up a just a little light in the primary on occasion, so I top off the last 1/4 gal with water.

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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I've used a 10 gallon aluminum pot for my 5 all-grain batches and I'm glad I didn't go smaller. I need to collect at least 7 gallons of wort and it always almost boils over at first (guess my lowest flame is still too strong). I'd say the small extra investment for the bigger volume is worth it.

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:05 PM   #8
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I have an 8 gallon (actually 8.5 up to the lip, nice surprise) and I'm always close to a boil over for the first 30 minutes.

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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I'd forego the 7.6/8g pot and look for a keg, either to make your own, or found another way.

Eventually you'll find a reason to want to make 10g batches, either splitting with friends or larger batches so that you get more brew out of a brew day.

Also, $120 is a lot for what you're getting out of it, when you consider you can get a keggle (http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/for/1886455493.html) for as low as $150 at various times...and that's full on converted and ready for use.

Keep an eye on Craigslist and other sources and I'm sure you'll find something usable.

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Old 08-10-2010, 01:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
Warning: People on this forum are going to FLAME the hell out of you for this one...
hmmm...im still unsure of what kettle to get...but just out of curiosity...why would people flame me for that comment? Is that means of getting a keg frowned upon??
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